Pit bulls get a bad reputation. In Yakima, the breed of dog is banned if it is not a service animal, but in the Tri-Cities it is a different story.

"All pit bulls are declared potentially dangerous just by breed, whether they've done something wrong or not, but by breed," explained Angela Zilar from the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter.

Pit bulls are the most common dog the shelter. An entire row of cages is set aside for them. Some people see owning a pit bull as more hassle than it is worth.

Our city of Kennewick and Pasco is not a ban, but they do have to meet specific requirements to own the pit bulls in those two cities.

Richland has no requirement, in Kennewick you need to pay for the permit and in Pasco you can opt out of the permit if the pit bull passes a basic test that displays obedience. At the shelter they are trying to erase the stigma. They actually file more reports for other breeds.

We have more problems with little dogs typically even in bites and other breeds, not just pit bulls. Our statistics are pretty low on pit bull occurrences for viciousness. We end up getting a lot of the really, really nice ones. It's hard to get them adopted because there's that preconceived notion that they're aggressive.

Shelter workers believe if people can look past the rough and tough looks, they might find a smiling friend on the other end.